Over a period of time, we get to meet many people on multiple facets of life. One thing I have come to realize is it does take a strong woman to recognize another!
After working for a few decades, you can say for sure that you have met a variety of people, a variety of personalities, a diverse set of perspectives would have shaped you!
It takes a lot for one to open up regarding their core personal challenges in life. It takes a tremendous amount of trust, non-judgmental attitude and patience for one to open up to you. When there is a strong woman who is leading in the forefront, who is sensitive and has an emotional side and is willing you let you lean-in, one feels comfortable opening up and sharing their personal challenges.
Whether it is about their sexual preference, relationship issues, parenting challenges, raising a child with disabilities, financial issues, health issues….. the list is long, especially when women go through certain phases in life. Mostly, listening would suffice. Sometimes, if you are their mentor or manager or leader, one tends to seek guidance as well.
Being in a position to provide guidance to others is an honor and privilege. Sometimes, it comes with the role you play, sometimes it comes naturally – just because of who you are – as an individual.
I have observed women around me – not many hold the power, especially in leadership roles, to show their vulnerability (a.k.a emotional side). There are but a few, who I consider strong women, who have stood up for what they believed in, faced challenges head on and overcame their obstacles, who continue to retain their empathetic side. They are rare. When you spot them, encourage them and have them spread their wings.
Some have the habit of laughing away other’s challenges, or calling them self-created challenges/conflicts. When someone does that to you, understand that they have never faced similar challenges and cannot understand or appreciate the other person’s point of view. Do not feel demotivated. It is good that you opened up, but hurts when the other person does not understand.
Some stand by to cheer us on all my milestones! Some choose to remain in touch during tough times! But, the ones you connect with mentally, whom you can talk to – about all the challenges you face, and would be able to listen to their challenges and appreciate them for their strength and perseverance, it ONLY happens when you connect with someone who is STRONG.
Every strong woman in our life has a story. It takes one to recognize another. It takes one to be able to listen to another and understand their life & choices.
It takes a lot of mental strength to deal with the challenges life chooses to put you through. That kind of strength comes from within. One never realizes they possess it till they face a situation demanding them to remain strong. There is yet another level of strength required to speak about the challenges and how one overcame them. For this one, one needs a non-judgmental circle – be they professional circle, friends, colleagues or community.
One common mantra they all follow – Take life one day at a time!